My 10 year old, little J-man, is Autistic. One of the most awesomest by-products of his Autism is his lack of artifice. He doesn’t know how to read facial expressions and only tell people what they want to hear. He just calls ’em like he sees ’em. He’s no Eddie Haskell.
For the last year or so J-man has had an obsession with my butt. Flattering . . . . except he’s 10, and my son.
When I’m laying on my tummy he’ll come up on the bed or couch next to me, start pushing on either side and say, “It’s so squishy!” or “It’s so jiggly!” Then he says he loves it and “hugs” it. It’s so silly. And cute. And, you know, it IS squishy and jiggly so he’s just making an observation.
So a few days ago we were getting ready for school and work in the morning and I was flying around my bedroom in my panties and bra looking for the rest of my clothing. J-man came in so I could help comb his hair. As I was spraying and combing he started poking at my tummy. Poke. I shifted away. He followed. Poke. I shifted, he followed. Poke.
“Stop!” I said.
He’s unfazed, “I didn’t know your tummy was jiggly & squishy too!”
“Hey, buddy, people don’t really like to hear that,” I said, feeling the familiar disdain for my own body.
Jamie seemed perplexed, “but why? That’s what makes you unique, momma.”
And I may have teared up, hugged him close and told him he was so very right. *sigh*
What a kid. We could learn something from him. He hasn’t been sullied by the magazines and tv and everything that tells us beauty is about appearance, and only a thin, unwobbly body is what makes a woman beautiful. To him, I’m his momma, his beautiful momma, who loves him and whose round, squishy body is unique and it’s what makes my hugs and my cuddles so very soft.
I often feel like my body holds me back. That I could be further in my career, I could have felt stronger and more confident, that I could have kept the attention and love of some people in my life who may have been disenchanted with those exaggerated curves. I think those things at my low points.
But, you know what? Screw that. I am so much more than my body.
I’m right where I need to be in my career – and it’s not a bad place to be! I am just as confident in my professional life as I need to be, and that’s only growing over time and as my expertise increases. I’m realizing at a certain point in your career your appearance really doesn’t matter as much. To say that another way, if your appearance still does matter then you haven’t proven yourself yet.
Also, not insignificantly, I’ve been told that my curves are pretty enchanting so, you know, those people who don’t like them can go take a flying leap.
My curves are ME. They are who I am. I have been curvy as long as I can remember. Even when I was super-thin, I was curvy. It’s the way I’m made. As J-man said, it IS one of the things that makes me unique.
I’ve been within the same 10 lbs for the last 3 years. No matter what I do. I can sign up and train for 5Ks, I can cut out carbs, I can eat a box of Milk Duds twice a week, and I will still stay within the same 10 lbs. There comes a time when you just have to say, “this is my body.” This is me. Accept it or not. Love it or not. I choose to accept it.
(Except at the beginning of bathing suit season when a certain amount of trepidation is perfectly normal. I think).
Disclaimer: Health is important. There is body acceptance and then there is just being in denial to health problems. A happy medium is recommended.
You don’t have to love my body, but if you love me then you need to know that this is the package that the fabulous gifts that are my brain, my heart, and my soul are wrapped in. Love me or don’t – but I recommend that you do.
Below is a video of a women, Allison Hatfield, telling her story of summoning up the courage to pose naked in front of a stranger and the life-altering thing that happened when she saw the end result. It’s truly powerful so give it a watch/listen:
Or read the transcript here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/oral-fixation/i-hated-my-body-until-i-let-a-stranger-draw-me_b_4860925.html
This is also a good time to remind you that April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day! Light it up BLUE! More to come on this, but if you want to prepare your home for Autism Awareness month, April, then blue lightbulbs are available at Home Depot.
Remember: Different, Not Less. (And that applies to sooooo many things!)
All my love,